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Barack Obama Takes Big Lead in Polls.--

Barack Obama got a big boost this week in the Gallup Poll, jumping to a 9% lead in a poll of registered voters (49-40). In the Rasmussen Poll of likely voters, the difference is a smaller, but still substantial 5% (49-44).

MONDAY NOON UPDATE: Rasmussen's Tracking Poll released Monday morning now shows only a 3% difference (48-45).

The REAL CLEAR POLITICS combined average of recent polls is now 4.7%.

MONDAY 6PM UPDATE: Gallup has released yet another poll today, this one showing McCain insignificantly ahead among LIKELY voters.

PersonFromPorlock:
It's not too late for the Republicans to renominate Bob Dole!
7.28.2008 4:52am
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
Despite his poll numbers Obama is still a very weak candidate. He is freshman senator whose only prior experience in elected office was in the Illinois state legislature. It is hard to imagine that he will actually win in November.
7.28.2008 5:00am
Anon21:
Eh...an uptick like this could really be statistical noise. I'd wait and see if it sustains. Meanwhile, Obama's state-level polling has been flat or slightly down. I'm not really expecting him to put this thing away until the debates. But I do think the damage done to McCain's campaign over the last week, principally as a result of Maliki's endorsement of Obama's withdrawal timetable, will prove impossible to repair. The final result will probably be an Obama victory of a considerably more comfortable margin than either of the previous elections. A landslide is unlikely, simply because of some of the more unusual contrasts between the candidates' personal qualities.
7.28.2008 5:03am
Anon21:
"either of the previous two elections," I meant to say.
7.28.2008 5:04am
OrinKerr:
Jerome Cole,

I think you may overestimate how much voters are troubled by lack of relevant experience if they find a candidate otherwise appealing. See, for example, the election of George W. Bush in 2000.
7.28.2008 5:41am
SirBillsalot (mail):
Orin:

As a twice-elected governor of one of the largest states of the union, Bush was conventionally experienced. Obama's resume is a lot thinner.
7.28.2008 7:26am
OrinKerr:
SiBillsalot:

I disagree: I think their experience level is comparable. Bush did have the benefit of having been elected twice rather than once, to the extent that changes his experience. At the same time, my understanding is that in Texas, the Governor actually has relatively few powers. Also, experience in state government means no exposure to foreign policy or other issues of concern to the federal government. So on the whole, I think their level of experience was comparable.
7.28.2008 7:33am
George Weiss (mail) (www):

OrinKerr:
Jerome Cole,

I think you may overestimate how much voters are troubled by lack of relevant experience if they find a candidate otherwise appealing. See, for example, the election of George W. Bush in 2000.


what?

recent presidents that went to white house on executive (gubernatorial) experience but without any prior federal experience in the legislature:

George W. bush
Regan
Clinton
Jimmy Carter

in other words-every president since Kennedy that was not vice president.

obama has no executive experience, has not been vice president, and only one term of federal legislative experience.

on the other hand-Clinton already made the "experience" argument and it didnt work so well.
7.28.2008 7:35am
LM (mail):

It's not too late for the Republicans to renominate Bob Dole!

Not that I voted for Dole, but I half-regretted his not getting elected because I loved what a smart-ass he was. I can't remember another major party candidate with his sarcastic sense of humor. Maybe LBJ, but he didn't show it in public. And to give credit where due, George W. has a pretty good sense of humor, but not in Dole's league. In fact Dole had a reputation for being a nasty SOB, something I also never saw in public, so I wondered if it wasn't just his sarcasm falling on irony-proof ears.
7.28.2008 7:38am
OrinKerr:
George Weiss,

How do you think that proves your point? The question is how many voters see a candidate's experience or lack thereof as a reason to vote against the candidate. The fact that several recent Presidents had been governor does not seem to respond to that.
7.28.2008 7:46am
Angus:
I've never understood how being governor of one state magically makes one experienced for the Presidency. Governors have absolutely zero involvement in diplomacy and foreign affairs. And when it comes to working with a legislature (or Congress), I would think that legislative experience is just as relevant as being a governor.

Of course, historically we've had far, far less experienced Presidents. Abraham Lincoln's previous experience was a single two-year term in House of Representatives and eight years in the Illinois legislature (same as Obama).
7.28.2008 8:04am
LM (mail):
Orin,

I agree that voters go with their gut more than a checklist, and that Obama's relevant experience is comparable to what Bush's was. But I doubt many voters actually understood they should discount the weight of a Texas governorship. And especially considering the subliminal influence of Bush's pedigree, I suspect he was granted more gravitas than deserved.
7.28.2008 8:09am
OrinKerr:
Agreed, LM.
7.28.2008 8:30am
Public_Defender (mail):
Part of McCain's problem is that his most recent theme cuts against him in some very important ways. He points out that he supported The Surge, while Obama opposed it. (I understand that McCain now claims that The Surge cures just about everything, including post-nasal drip and restless leg syndrome.) I suspect that most voters look at that and see McCain trying to take credit for partially mitigating his own screw-up.

So we have a choice between one candidate who helped to partially clean up a mess he helped create, and another who would not have created the mess in the first place.

I also think many people see that Obama's foreign policy is in many ways more traditionally conservative than McCain's. Obama seems much more conservative in his willingness to use the US Military to solve the world's problems.

Obama offers conservatives a lot. McCain pretty much offers liberals only campaign finance reform.
7.28.2008 8:40am
Patrick216:
This election is Obama's to lose. McCain has not demonstrated a willingness or ability to either: (1) effectively attack Obama or (2) offer a coherent, positive vision of what he stands for and where he wants to take the country. He thus gives off the impression he's just phoning it in (which isn't true, as his campaign schedule is packed). The result is that the entire election is now a referendum on Obama, with McCain playing the role as the "safe, default choice."
7.28.2008 8:45am
Federal Dog:
It's not clear how many people have experience that would prepare them for being president. That, for me, is not the question.

Obama lacks the character to qualify for that office. He is painfully self-absorbed and incapable of admitting even the most obvious and public errors that he has made. No meglomaniac who is incapable of admitting his own fallibility has the character necessary to wield the power that the president of the United States wields.
7.28.2008 8:47am
J. Aldridge:
If I recall correctly, both Gore and Kerry had great poll numbers at one time, too.
7.28.2008 8:56am
LM (mail):
PD,

In fairness, despite McCain's understandable flip-flop to buy a little relief from his base, I assume his sentiments on immigration are still pretty liberal. And his environmental tendencies likewise, if less so.

Not that I don't prefer Obama on just about every issue, but the far right doesn't hate McCain as much as they do without any justification (from their point of view).
7.28.2008 8:57am
Angus:

He is painfully self-absorbed and incapable of admitting even the most obvious and public errors that he has made.
In case you hadn't noticed, the guy you are describing is term limited and cannot run again.
7.28.2008 9:05am
Angus:
I think McCain has an interesting mix of liberal and conservative stances, and despite his recent pandering I think he holds a distaste for the religious right. I wouldn't expect a sharp rightward turn in the White House if he became President.

However, the reason I will never vote for him is that he'll have to pay off his base by appointing far right officials to important offices. I think the far right poses much more of a threat to my individual freedoms than does the far left, and my vote and my money will act accordingly.
7.28.2008 9:09am
jvarisco (mail) (www):
Uptick? The spread has been pretty constant since early May (see here. McCain went up, then down, and now he's back where he started. Is there a reason you're ignoring the Fox News Poll that had him up by a single point from 7/23? Not to mention he's in the middle of a media campaign, if he didn't see some sort of bounce there would be something to worry about.
7.28.2008 9:09am
George Weiss (mail) (www):
orin:

What I think the Obama experience problem issue is-is that he has less experience relative to other presidents or the rival candidate I.E. the problem is Obama does not have the experience typical for this position, but Mccain does. The problem is not, IMO, that Obama does not have the most experience possible of any candidate imaginable, ever.

my point about the previous presidents coming off the governorship is that, in your example of a President with little experience, (George Bush), the same argument of untypical experience relative to the competition and (what voters were choosing from) cannot be made. George Bush also may not have had supurb qualifications-but he was at least on the map).

cf: (i bet a lot of voters would like a president who would cut federal spending-but we are put into an election where both candidates will be raising spending. So the spending voter asks-ok-who's spending less?)

what you seem to arguing is that experience doesn't make a difference becuase many candidates still get elected without, objectively speaking, having a lot of experience You point for this to George Bush-since George Bush's only experience was Governor. Of course-if it can be shown that, objectively speaking, experience doesn't matter much at all-then it wouldn't really matter, indeed, who has more experience than whom.

But, as long as it can be established that some experience is wanted by voters (which I think can be established by the fact that the presidency is a culmination of a political career-and that very very few presidents since have not been vice president, Governor, or a congress members.) It seems to me the real question is not what experience the people would want an ideal president to have-but instead, how experience way in relative toward whats expected of typical presidents, and what disqualification's the other candidate has in that area.

OTOH The presidents whose presidencies were clearly not culminations of political careers were the Generals-e.g. Washington, Eisenhower, and Grant-and they pretty much won becuase they were god like hero figures-hmmmmmmmm.
7.28.2008 9:24am
jdd6y:
Who cares?

That either of these pullers are the nominees illustrates how completely over the American experiment is. It doesn't matter who is President. K Street and the bankers set policy and make all material decisions and will continue to do so until the US of A defaults on its national debt and the entire Empire comes crashing down.

Elections are dog and pony shows to make the masses feel appreciated. That the intelligensia still seems to care makes me wonder how they became the intelligensia? Obama may win. McCain may win. Life in the USA is going to look indistinguishable under either administration. Idiot bureaucrats making decisions they don't understand. Increasing taxes, regulation, destructive wars, and a devaluing dollar. The process has continued unabated since the 30s.

Do yourselves a favor and a) don't vote and b) don't waste precious time on what is nothing more than a soap opera.
7.28.2008 9:28am
OrinKerr:
George,

The case of Bush is just one example of a less experienced candidate winning the election. To take the last 30 years or so, the less experienced candidate won in 2000, 1992, 1980, and 1976, and lost in 1984, 1988, and 2004. It seems to me that the less experienced candidate wins about half the time and loses half the time: all in all, it's not clear to me that there is a systematic preference for the more experienced candidate.

One argument would be that Obama is particularly inexperienced, so that history isn't applicable. But I think Obama's experience is roughly on the order of Bush's in 2000 or Clinton's in 1992: that is, he has very little relevant experience, just like they did.
7.28.2008 9:37am
OrinKerr:
jdd6y writes:
It doesn't matter who is President. K Street and the bankers set policy and make all material decisions and will continue to do so until the US of A defaults on its national debt and the entire Empire comes crashing down.
Actually, it's the Jewish bloggers that run the whole country. Have you seen the Protocols of the Elders of Volokh? Chilling stuff.
7.28.2008 9:40am
A.W. (mail):
Mmm, Rasmussen is usually more accurate than Gallup in my unscientific observation. But clearly McCain has a problem.
7.28.2008 9:43am
seadrive:
It's been my impression that small state governors, e.g. Clinton, Carter, have been able to run for the presidency because their duties leave them plenty of free time.

No one is qualified to be president. You have to take the measure of the man.
7.28.2008 9:45am
NaG (mail):
I am actually surprised that Obama is not up by double digits. At this point, I think that he's at his high-water mark. He had a big week, even scoring a huge coup by having the Iraqi prime minister agree with his withdrawal plan from Iraq. McCain's attacks went nowhere. It was a close to flawless foreign trip. And yet, he comes home to a mere 9-point lead?

It's awfully early in the race to be hitting your ceiling.
7.28.2008 9:48am
NaG (mail):
jdd6y: Who kicked your puppy this morning?
7.28.2008 9:49am
AntonK (mail):
A.W. says:

But clearly McCain has a problem.
I'd say he has a number of problems, two of which are:

A) Obama is a skilled practitioner of the 'dreamy' narrative, a particularly attractive trait to the Left, and

B) Obama has ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and CNN as his no-cost-to-him PR operation.
7.28.2008 9:49am
Brett Bellmore:

It's not too late for the Republicans to renominate Bob Dole!


They did, PfP, they did. ;)
7.28.2008 10:02am
Hoosier:
Orin Kerr:"Actually, it's the Jewish bloggers that run the whole country. Have you seen the Protocols of the Elders of Volokh? Chilling stuff."

SHHHHH!

You are SUPPOSED to say "Zionist" bloggers.

NaG: I have the same question about all of this. Obama was on "MtP" with Brokaw yesterday. He answered the question about his position in the polls in a way that made me ask: "Why aren't you FAR ahead? This is clearly a Democratic year."

Brokaw, of course, did not follow up with a probing question along these lines. Which, of course, was Russert's strength—a real bulldog.

I miss Russert.
7.28.2008 10:07am
glangston (mail):
The Audacity of the Polls.

These are co-equal items, the relevance of experience and the accuracy of polls.
7.28.2008 10:09am
Jim at FSU (mail):
I think the biggest hurdle for McCain to get over is that the entirety of the mainstream media is literally following Obama around wherever he goes and McCain is relegated to the back pages. Listening to the news these days, one could easily forget that Obama has any opposition. No one can spend enough money on advertising to overcome hours and hours of free coverage given out to a particular candidate to the exclusion of all others. Especially when that coverage has the appearance of impartiality that one normally ascribes to reporting of news.

I don't think it stretches credibility much to claim that most of the people running the networks desperately want to see a far-left utopian program put in place and will do whatever it takes to see that happen.

What worries me most is that
a) Obama and the democrats will succeed in raising taxes in a misguided attempt at class warfare (Obama calls it "fairness"),
b) it will have the predicted negative effect on GDP and tax revenue and
c) voters will not understand what has happened, nor will they blame them for it. And we'll be right back in the 1960s with the whole fight before us again.

Sadly, the republicans have forgotten why they got elected in the first place and would rather argue with the dems over how best to misallocate the taxpayer's money. Meanwhile, the Chinese are slowly eating Africa and our factories, corporations and wealthy citizens are continuing to flee the country at an ever increasing pace.
7.28.2008 10:28am
Arkady:

and wealthy citizens are continuing to flee the country at an ever increasing pace


And saying goodbye to these asshats who value their money over their country is a bad thing because?
7.28.2008 10:50am
calmom:
Why have national polling when we don't have a national election? It's the state polling that matters. The election will be decided by a few tens of thousands in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado and other swing states.
7.28.2008 10:51am
Stevethepatentguy (mail) (www):
Statistically, Obama swings between a dead heat an a few points ahead in the polls. The movement from dead heat to a few points ahead is widely reported. The return to a dead heat is hardly mentioned. The appearance is that Obama gains 2-4 percent every other week; the fact is that he is 4-5 points ahead.
7.28.2008 10:58am
Sarcastro (www):
Obama's ahead in the poles. I would like to take this moment to say that Obama suuuucks.

How can hou have a Republic when people keep voting wrong?
7.28.2008 11:02am
Anderson (mail):
Obama is ahead *despite* the media:

The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, where researchers have tracked network news content for two decades, found that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Obama than on Republican John McCain during the first six weeks of the general-election campaign.

You read it right: tougher on the Democrat.

During the evening news, the majority of statements from reporters and anchors on all three networks are neutral, the center found. And when network news people ventured opinions in recent weeks, 28% of the statements were positive for Obama and 72% negative.

Network reporting also tilted against McCain, but far less dramatically, with 43% of the statements positive and 57% negative, according to the Washington-based media center.

Conservatives have been snarling about the grotesque disparity revealed by another study, the online Tyndall Report, which showed Obama receiving more than twice as much network air time as McCain in the last month and a half. Obama got 166 minutes of coverage in the seven weeks after the end of the primary season, compared with 67 minutes for McCain, according to longtime network-news observer Andrew Tyndall.

I wrote last week that the networks should do more to better balance the air time. But I also suggested that much of the attention to Obama was far from glowing.

That earned a spasm of e-mails that described me as irrational, unpatriotic and . . . somehow . . . French.

But the center's director, Robert Lichter, who has won conservative hearts with several of his previous studies, told me the facts were the facts.

"This information should blow away this silly assumption that more coverage is always better coverage," he said.
7.28.2008 11:02am
Lawrence W-H:
Jim,

You realize that the people predicting that higher taxes for people making over $237,000 a year will reduce GDP and tax revenue are the same ones who said that massive tax cuts for those same people would increase it, right?

Just asking.
7.28.2008 11:08am
Jim at FSU (mail):
If most of these higher-income taxpayers get snatched up by AMT instead, they aren't actually paying less in taxes. In high tax areas like CA and NY, the tax cuts actually raised a lot of people's taxes.
7.28.2008 11:12am
Ursus (mail):
Governors have absolutely zero involvement in diplomacy and foreign affairs.

This is a remarkably ignorant comment.

One of the roles of a Governor is to bring investment into the state. They do a tremendous amount of international diplomacy and negotiation. The primary difference between a large state's governorship and the presidency is that the governorship does not have an international military presence, but that's about it.
7.28.2008 11:12am
rrr (mail):
I'll buy the results of that poll when a reporter gets a tingle down his leg for a Republican or when reporters have to be warned not to cheer for the Republican, etc., etc.

Until then, it's circle the wagons and CYA because we've got an election to influence!
7.28.2008 11:18am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
george:

obama has no executive experience


That's true but only in the conventional sense. He's running a large campaign, and doing it very well.

Meanwhile, McCain has this much executive experience: 13 months, 30 years ago. And there is a lot we don't know about that period, such as the role his family played in getting him into and through the job. I find it striking that his official campaign bio completely omits any mention of this period.
7.28.2008 11:20am
SATA_Interface:
The joke is that McCain used to be the hot ticket with the media. He got way more coverage and favorable during the 2000 cycle vs Bush. Of course, once Rove's machine decimated the brave maverick, John had to come back home and stop being so indignant just to save face.

Now today Obama is the new thing and McCain is the spinster that never gets asked to the dance anymore... He is right about the media's coverage of Obama, but he just sounds whiny and petulant when he doesn't get the free coverage he needs.
7.28.2008 11:22am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Until then, it's circle the wagons and CYA because we've got an election to influence!


Make sure to pay no attention whatsoever to the facts that were presented here.
7.28.2008 11:23am
cjwynes (mail):
C'mon, these polls have to be over-estimating Obama's support by a little bit. How many people that say they're voting for him will actually pull the lever for him when they're in the privacy of the voting booth? It's one thing for him to beat Alan Keyes, that doesn't tell us anything.
7.28.2008 11:26am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
he just sounds whiny and petulant when he doesn't get the free coverage he needs.


Yes. And it's ironic that he brought this on himself. When he repeatedly taunted Obama for not visiting Iraq enough, McCain was telling everyone that visiting Iraq is Really Important. So it's extremely natural that the media is treating Obama's visit to Iraq as Really Important.
7.28.2008 11:29am
Q:

I am actually surprised that Obama is not up by double digits. At this point, I think that he's at his high-water mark. He had a big week, even scoring a huge coup by having the Iraqi prime minister agree with his withdrawal plan from Iraq. McCain's attacks went nowhere. It was a close to flawless foreign trip. And yet, he comes home to a mere 9-point lead?

It's awfully early in the race to be hitting your ceiling.


9-point lead = landslide. Reagan only beat Carter by a "mere" 10 points.
7.28.2008 11:33am
sbron:
The scary thing about Obama is that instead of being the post-racial candidate, he now seems to be the post-integration, post-assimilation candidate. His recent strong support of racial preferences when "properly structured" is especially disturbing. Ward Connerly actually donated to Obama's campaign, his rationale being that since both were multiracial, hopefully Obama would understand the contradictions and downright insanity of racial preferences. Now Connerly regrets his initial support.

Obama has over 90% of the Black vote, and close to 70% of the Latino vote. He has apparently succeeded in creating the "Rainbow Coalition" that Jesse Jackson was not able to form in the 1980s, partially explaining Jackson's hatred of Obama. Unfortunately, his rainbow coalition seems to be of the "hating whitey" form. Here's a troubling remark from a journalist from Michelle Malkin's website


Said Luz Villarreal, an associate producer for "Dateline NBC": "I don't think it's such a bad thing if for 15 minutes you take off your reporter hat and respond to (Obama) as a human being at an event where you're surrounded by people of color and you're here for a united cause."


In the best case, we could be headed for a late-60s style eruption of racial/ethnic nationalism and further segregation. In the worst case, I think we should take Carole Swain's warning about a new "white nationalism" and Mickey Kaus' concern about a "California Kosovo" very seriously. Good job Obama!
7.28.2008 11:41am
The Unbeliever:
Governors have absolutely zero involvement in diplomacy and foreign affairs.
Yeah, right. Tell that to the the governors of Texas who have to deal with Mexico as if they're just another district, or the governor of California who met with Tony Blair and signed a foreign treaty with China to better the environment, or the governors of Florida who take 2-3 international trips a year on a quest to bring more business and trade into the state. Heck, many mayors of large cities have more international and diplomatic experience than certain junior first-term Senators.

I don't know about any related experience claimed by governors of Arkansas or Georgia, but your blanket statement about governors is prima facie false.
7.28.2008 11:42am
BT:
As some others upthread have noted, I am surprised that BO is not up by 20 to 30% given the media's infatuation with him and his message and that McCain has proven to be a mediocre candidate. The fact that he is only up by 9% may be an indication that this race is alot closer than people think. I still think the race will come down to several states in the midwest: PA, OH, Mich, etc and that older voters will not be favorable to BO for a number of reasons and that will play a big factor in the outcome. The TV shows tend to concentrate on younger voters and how they are turned on by BO, etc., and ignore the 65+ voter, who unlike most younger voters, do turn out and vote. Time will tell.

Keep Our Politics Clean!!!

Say No To BO in 08!!!!
7.28.2008 11:44am
OrinKerr:
I still think the race will come down to several states in the midwest: PA, OH, Mich, etc and that older voters will not be favorable to BO for a number of reasons and that will play a big factor in the outcome.

You must mean the fact that he went to Harvard Law. Damn anti-Crimsonites.
7.28.2008 11:47am
JosephSlater (mail):
It's too early to predict the outcome, but Obama does seem to have gotten a small but noticeable "bump" from his trip. Other bumps, up and down, for both candidates, will probably be coming.

But the whining about the media is unseemly. As to this comment:

I don't think it stretches credibility much to claim that most of the people running the networks desperately want to see a far-left utopian program put in place and will do whatever it takes to see that happen.

Yeah, actually, it does stretch credibility quite a bit to think that a bunch of big businesses (the networks) want a "far-left utopian program" put in place. It also stretches credibility to think that they will "do whatever it takes" to see that happen.

As to the substance, Anderson's post above is a good place to start with the debunking of this right-wing talking point.

More broadly, complaints about media coverage are usually made by folks who think they are losing. Usually comes a bit before bitter complaints about how voters are just so stupid . . . .
7.28.2008 11:50am
The Unbeliever:
obama has no executive experience

That's true but only in the conventional sense. He's running a large campaign, and doing it very well.
So the primary resume bullet point for him being an effective executive President, is that he runs for President very well? That comes off more like a line from Sarcastro than an honest defense.

I'll conceded that probably qualifies him for being chair of the DNC. Ironically, before McCain even declared his intent to run, back when he was just a gadfly screwing up important GOP legislative initiatives, I used to say he should be asked to retire from his Senate seat and take over chair of the GOP. Unfortunately for the party, the world generally does not heed the advice of anonymous Internet cranks.
7.28.2008 11:52am
gues7342:
"I think the biggest hurdle for McCain to get over is that the entirety of the mainstream media is literally following Obama around wherever he goes and McCain is relegated to the back pages."

There's some responsibility here for mccain. A speech in Berlin vs. a visit to the Sausage Haus? One of these is going to get more media attention.
7.28.2008 11:52am
Thales (mail) (www):
"Actually, it's the Jewish bloggers that run the whole country. Have you seen the Protocols of the Elders of Volokh? Chilling stuff."

There are those who will insist that the Protocols are a notorious forgery . . . Plug up your ears, they are all part of the insidious Volokh plot.
7.28.2008 11:53am
Houston Lawyer:
I believe that President Dukakis was up by around 20 points at one time. I'm just waiting for the networks to start scrolling "Vote for Obama" across their screens full time.

The only thing that Obama appears to have any experience at is self promotion. Beating Alan Keyes in an Illinois election doesn't count for much.
7.28.2008 11:56am
Thales (mail) (www):
Re experience: I'm not sure that any particular job truly and adequately prepares one for the Presidency except the Presidency (and some recent two termers seem not to have learned very much on the job).

I think what matters more is judgment, temperament, ideas, grace under pressure, etc. On that score, I think we actually have a very decent choice before us, much more so than in many years past. Readers know which side I am on this time, but I have respected McCain for these things in the past, and I respect him for them the most when he sticks to his guns despite unpopularity. I'd like to see the McCain I remember from 2000 a little more, and so would a lot of other independents. He does better when he ignores his handlers and just tries to be himself.
7.28.2008 11:59am
Anderson (mail):
they are all part of the insidious Volokh plot.

Not merely a plot, sir -- a Conspiracy.
7.28.2008 12:01pm
rarango (mail):
I am assuming, quite possibly wrongly, that this bump derives from the faux presidential coverage Senator Obama got on his trip abroad. At any rate, a poll at this point in time is largely irrelevant, IMO. About October I might want to start looking at them seriously.

As to experience? I just do not relish the thought that a Senator is going to be elected--Fortunately, the republic is strong and will survive either one.

It appears to me that McCain is running a really lousy campaign--making Bob Dole's effort look polished even. And with a few exceptions, these two arent that far apart on issues I care about--I havent been a friend of McCain since the gang of 14 and campaign finance "reform." Mavericks are OK as long as they are dependable mavericks. That said, Obama is even less appealing to me: much too liberal for my taste.
7.28.2008 12:03pm
Brett Bellmore:
It appears to me that McCain really IS Bob Dole the second: Elderly Senator with crippling war injuries? Check. Alienated from his party's base on several issues? Check. Reputation for betraying his party? Check. Largely stopped campaigning after securing the nomination? Check.

All that's left is going around pissing off important conservative interest groups, and I'd say he's got a good start on that with immigration.

Really, it shocks me that the race is as close as it is. When you compensate for people who say they'll vote for Obama just because they don't want the pollster to assume they're racist, (A known factor.) it's near a dead heat.
7.28.2008 12:05pm
calmom:
The "Berlin bounce" is already gone. See Rasmussen's daily tracking this morning.

I was polled by Rasmussen a few weeks ago. I got a nice recorded voice and a 'choose 1 for this and 5 for this' type poll. It occurred to me that if hubby had picked up the phone, the polling results could have been different. And I could have messed with it by lying about gender, age and all the poll answers just for fun. After all, it was just a recording. I wonder if the margin of error is accurate. A pollster calls a home. There could be two or three voting age people there. Or the caller ID function could have screened out the call. Or a person in a bad mood or too busy could have just hung up. People who aren't home much don't get polled. You can think of a host of reasons why polls may not be very accurate.
7.28.2008 12:05pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
I think people would be less worried about media bias if prominent news figures weren't talking in awed tones about the tingly sensation that Obama stimulates in their pants and how difficult it is to remain impartial in the presence of Obama's greatness. These guys clearly like him a lot, both for his charisma and for his far left politics. For those of us who rate politicians on ability rather than personality or who oppose leftism, this makes us concerned.

By leftist utopianism, I was referring to Obamas proposal to raise taxes because of class-warfare notions of "fairness" with the effects on the economy as merely secondary considerations.

We should be concerned about wealthy individuals and successful corporations leaving the country because it means they won't spend their money here, neither to buy goods/services nor to open businesses or otherwise invest in our economy. When people can get better returns (or smaller losses) by living and investing overseas, our economy necessarily shrinks. We need policies that encourage success and productivity rather than chase it away to China with burdensome taxes and regulations.
7.28.2008 12:09pm
The Ace (mail):
Obama is ahead *despite* the media:

Laugh out loud funny.

Note how that "study" did not define what a "negative" story was.

Want to take a guess as to why that is?
7.28.2008 12:10pm
Angus:

Yeah, right. Tell that to the the governors of Texas who have to deal with Mexico as if they're just another district, or the governor of California who met with Tony Blair and signed a foreign treaty with China to better the environment, or the governors of Florida who take 2-3 international trips a year on a quest to bring more business and trade into the state.

Schwarzenegger's treaty is, IMHO, unconstitutional and should lead to his immediate removal from office. Not the best example to hold up.

As for the Florida governor trips. I lived in Florida for 26 years and had friends who went on such trips as staffers. They are sightseeing tours, not diplomacy.

Giving tax breaks to a foreign business = not even the same as negotiating international treaties, a function reserved for the President and Senate.
7.28.2008 12:12pm
The Ace (mail):
Governors have absolutely zero involvement in diplomacy and foreign affairs.

And here I remember that Michael Moore, in his silly movie, claimed the Taliban came to Texas for an oil pipeline and this was somehow a point to make Bush the world's worst person.
7.28.2008 12:13pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
Negative is pointing out that he hasn't got a 40 percent lead despite healing lepers and parting the red sea on a daily basis.

Negative is pointing out that not only is he not president yet, but many in the public don't want him to become president.
7.28.2008 12:15pm
Anderson (mail):
As to experience? I just do not relish the thought that a Senator is going to be elected

You will appreciate the story told about 100 years ago by Speaker of the House Thomas Reed, which I found in Barbara Tuchman's The Proud Tower.

Reed told of an amendment to the Constitution providing that the President would be elected by the Senate, from amongst its members.

The first such election was held; the senators dropped their sealed ballots into the box; and the Chief Justice of the United States, presiding, counted the ballots.

And recounted them.

And then, clearing his throat, announced to the anxious chamber that each senator had received one vote.
7.28.2008 12:16pm
JosephSlater (mail):
By leftist utopianism, I was referring to Obamas proposal to raise taxes

I guess I didn't understand that rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the rich -- which themselves could be described as "class warfare" of a kind -- was "leftist utopianism." But even if moving back to the tax policies of a decade or so ago was really "leftist utopianism," I'm still wondering why, exactly, big businesses such as television networks would be willing to "do whatever it takes" (your words) to make that happen.

Look, we can debate whether the media is biased untill the cows come home and we likely won't convince each other. I'll just suggest again that Repubs making that complaint are probably usually people who feel that McCain is losing and are looking for something to blame.
7.28.2008 12:20pm
Uh_Clem (mail):
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the prediction markets which have Obama about a 65-35 favorite.

Ya'll only put faith in the market when it tells you what you want to hear?
7.28.2008 12:20pm
The Ace (mail):
I do rather enjoy trips down memory lane:


Swing states lean to Kerry
Posted 10/31/2004
Across the dozen battleground states expected to determine the winner, Kerry holds a 5-percentage-point edge — including small leads among likely voters in the critical states of Ohio and Florida.


Note the date on that.
7.28.2008 12:21pm
Hairy Mark (mail):
Brett,

I agree. Given the war, economy, and popularity of the current president, Obama should be WAY ahead in the polls.

But he's not! And I suppose that he never will be for any substantial amount of time. While I expect him to get a post convention bounce, it will likely be short lived as the Republican's host their convention after the Democrats.

Likely reasons for Obama's inability to crush McCain:

1) His record (tax and spend, gun control, pro-abortion)
2) His lack of a record (his inexperience)
3) His associates (Wright, Ayers, Rezko, and Pflegger)
4) His mortgage (sweet heart deal)
5) His flip-flops (fisa, Iraq, gun control, etc)
6) His brutal battle with Hillary
7) His personality (cocky and arrogant)
8) His poor debate skills (Hillary beat him in every one and Obama will not meet McCain in Town Hall meetings)
9) His own comments ("bitter Americans")

The Democrats will be wondering what hit them when McCain wins in the Fall. It's simple -- Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, and Howard Dean.
7.28.2008 12:21pm
MLS:
To me it is an unflattering commentary on our political system when a candidate for President repeatedly becomes the lead story on "Entertainment Tonight".
7.28.2008 12:21pm
The Ace (mail):
I guess I didn't understand that rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the rich

Except they were not "tax cuts for the rich" nor can you demonstrate it so.

Why can't you?
You're lying.
7.28.2008 12:22pm
Anderson (mail):
It's simple -- Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, and Howard Dean.

You would be very surprised how little time 95% of the American public spends thinking, much less worrying, about any of those.
7.28.2008 12:23pm
Anderson (mail):
Except they were not "tax cuts for the rich" nor can you demonstrate it so.

Read all about it, folks. N.b. the parts on capital gains and estate tax.

How'd you get that moniker, "Ace"?
7.28.2008 12:26pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
unbeliever:

So the primary resume bullet point for him being an effective executive President, is that he runs for President very well?


The fact is that running a large campaign takes skills in leadership, management and organization. Anyone watching both campaigns is getting a vivid demonstration that Obama has those skills and McCain does not.

And I notice you have no comment on McCain's "primary resume bullet point for him being an effective executive President:" 13 months, 30 years ago, in a job he probably got via his daddy. And he's so proud of it he omitted it from the official campaign bio posted on his web site.
7.28.2008 12:27pm
rarango (mail):
Anderson: thanks for the story (and anytime you quote Barbara Tuchman, you will have my undivided attention--a great historian IMO--)
7.28.2008 12:28pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
"tax cuts for the rich"

Bush knows who his base is, and we know he knows, because he told us so (video).
7.28.2008 12:30pm
The Ace (mail):
Read all about it, folks. N.b. the parts on capital gains and estate tax.

Um, you don't have a clue as to who actually pays taxes.

Let's help you out


the top 1% of taxpayers, those who earn above $388,806, paid 40% of all income taxes in 2006, the highest share in at least 40 years. The top 10% in income, those earning more than $108,904, paid 71%.
...
Americans with an income below the median paid a record low 2.9% of all income taxes, while the top 50% paid 97.1%.


On the 2004 IRS data:

The share of income taxes paid by the top half of taxpayers reached its highest level in decades, according to new IRS data released today. According to the new data, the top half of taxpayers ranked by income paid 96.70 percent of the individual income taxes paid in 2004, compared to 86.05 percent in 1949, 89.35 percent in 1959, and 90.27 percent in 1969.





FYI: Wikipedia is not a valid source.
Which of course is why you're citing it.
7.28.2008 12:31pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
I like how you misquote me in a way that completely changes the meaning of what I said.

It's very important that Obama refuses to acknowledge the obvious negative consequences of raising taxes. It's very important that he continues to justify these changes based on "fairness" rather than by using measurable criteria.

Tax cuts only "favor the rich" (whether high income earners are "rich" or "wealthy" is a valid discussion for another time) because:
-people that make more money pay more taxes. Any reduction, no matter how fair, will give them back more money since they earned more and paid more in taxes in the first place.
-people that make more money in this country pay taxes at a much higher rate. Anything that brings taxes back closer to an even rate will give back more to the people that are currently paying the most.

It's basically a bunch of semantic games to justify soaking the upper-middle class. This provides the most tax revenue with the least chance of a voter revolt. Meanwhile, the wealthy hang out in places like the Bahamas and support themselves with overseas investment.
7.28.2008 12:31pm
Sarcastro (www):
See, Obama's going to lose because he isn't ahead by enough. And he's not ahead more because he sucks so much!

His record is soo bad! And there's so little of it!

Also, I hear from Jim at FSU some people don't like him! That could also explain why he doesn't have 100% in the polls.
7.28.2008 12:32pm
The Ace (mail):
The fact is that running a large campaign takes skills in leadership, management and organization.

Too funny.

People like you are voting for Odumbo because he's black and that makes you feel good inside.

No other reason.
7.28.2008 12:32pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
"those of us who rate politicians on ability rather than personality"

I wonder if you would like to seriously suggest that Dubya won on "ability rather than personality."
7.28.2008 12:33pm
The Ace (mail):
Any reduction, no matter how fair, will give them back more money since they earned more and paid more in taxes in the first place.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Don't tell these "smart" liberals anything about common sense. They want to continue to flail their arms and screech that "tax cuts" didn't go to people who don't pay taxes.
7.28.2008 12:34pm
Anderson (mail):
Ace, what would be a valid source in your milieu? I can't begin to imagine.

No one disputes that the rich pay more. That's where the money is, as Willie Sutton noted in another context.

The issue was whether or not the 2001 tax cuts reduced taxes for the rich. They did.

Sorry you don't like the Wiki article, but maybe instead of just waggling your wings, how about shooting it down, Ace?
7.28.2008 12:34pm
Dave N (mail):
jukeboxgrad,

I am not suggesting that McCain's final Naval command, of a Naval flight wing, is a great executive experience. However, unless you have some evidence regarding "daddy" helping Captain McCain, then you are impugning the professionalism of the entire United States military in your quest to score cheap political points.

Oh, and Admiral McCain retired in 1972, while his son was, to use his own phrase, "otherwise occupied."
7.28.2008 12:37pm
Floridan:
"I don't think it stretches credibility much to claim that most of the people running the networks desperately want to see a far-left utopian program put in place and will do whatever it takes to see that happen."

If the people running the networks desperatly want anything, it is a tight race right up to election day. Their "utopia" is high ratings, and there is a much better chance of that happening if the election is in doubt.
7.28.2008 12:37pm
The Ace (mail):
The issue was whether or not the 2001 tax cuts reduced taxes for the rich. They did.

And they also created a new 10% bracket and reduced taxes for all tax payers. ( person who used to pay 15 percent of his income to the government, would pay 10 percent)

Sorry you don't like the Wiki article, but maybe instead of just waggling your wings, how about shooting it down, Ace?

It is shot down by the nature of the fact that it isn't realistic and you're now slip sliding around based on the original claim.
7.28.2008 12:38pm
Sarcastro (www):
I can't decide which to blame if Obama wins, the media or whites voting for his blackness...
7.28.2008 12:39pm
The Ace (mail):
in a job he probably got via his daddy.

Hilarious.

coming from someone who is going to rush to the polls to vote for a chickenhawk no less!

Remember when the left wanted Bush to enlist his daughters in the military??!!

Funny, Odumbo wants to keep troops in Iraq until 2010, at least, and send them into Pakistan apparently yet there is no such test for a Democrat.

Gee, I wonder why?
7.28.2008 12:40pm
The Ace (mail):
Also, as a point of fact, the 2003 Bush tax cuts extended the child tax credit to $1,000.
7.28.2008 12:41pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
If the bottom half of the populace is paying about 3 percent of total tax receipts and you define the other half as "rich" then yes, any tax cut is going to go entirely to the rich.

But I don't think this reflects favoritism of people making a kingly forty thousand dollars a year so much as it highlights how screwed up our tax system has become over the years. The numbers very clearly reflect that we are now dumping the lion's share of the tax burden on an increasingly small minority because they are least able to defend themselves at the ballot box.

Instead, they defend themselves by voting with their feet whenever possible. You can already see (in increasingly harsh penalties for expatriates and people who renounce their citizenship) the beginnings of the trend towards the Soviet idea of guards to keep the citizens in rather than to keep invaders out.
7.28.2008 12:47pm
Anderson (mail):
It is shot down by the nature of the fact that it isn't realistic

Says you and what articulate person?

and you're now slip sliding around based on the original claim.

Slip-sliding around what original claim? The bill cut taxes for the rich. It also cut some taxes for the non-rich. Does that somehow change the fact that it cut taxes for the rich? Or that the estate and capital-gains tax cuts were predominantly benefits for the affluent, not for people qualifying for EIC?

I mean, can you people not even argue? Is that why we have to listen to all this crap about Obama's being a secret Muslim, and wanting to lose the Iraq war -- because you can't actually argue against his real positions?

What hath Crossfire wrought?
7.28.2008 12:55pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"At the same time, my understanding is that in Texas, the Governor actually has relatively few powers."

That's true but few voters know that.
7.28.2008 12:58pm
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
@Prof. Kerr

The case of Bush is just one example of a less experienced candidate winning the election. To take the last 30 years or so, the less experienced candidate won in 2000, 1992, 1980, and 1976, and lost in 1984, 1988, and 2004. It seems to me that the less experienced candidate wins about half the time and loses half the time: all in all, it's not clear to me that there is a systematic preference for the more experienced candidate.

One argument would be that Obama is particularly inexperienced, so that history isn't applicable. But I think Obama's experience is roughly on the order of Bush's in 2000 or Clinton's in 1992: that is, he has very little relevant experience, just like they did.


I don't think this a very good argument. More experience than the other candidate doesn't really say much if both are reasonably well-experienced, and well-qualified. However, when a candidate is completely off the map in terms of where he needs to be in his political career to consider running a serious campaign for president we need to start asking our selves some tough questions.

Also the fact that so many elected presidents and candidates for president have extensive executive experience in the military, as a governor, or vice-president speaks volumes about voter preferences. Elections are markets, in a way, and markets tend to give consumers what they want. This also begs another question, if voters don't care about experience or heavily discount its importance why haven't we seen more candidates like OBH? I think the question shouldn't be too difficult to ponder.

Also, it seems you are cherry-picking your data-set. I bet if we looked at all the presidential contests for the 20th century it would significantly weaken your conclusions.
7.28.2008 1:02pm
Jim at FSU (mail):

I mean, can you people not even argue? Is that why we have to listen to all this crap about Obama's being a secret Muslim, and wanting to lose the Iraq war -- because you can't actually argue against his real positions?

You mean like his opposition to the surge? Or wanting to pull us out on a timetable, even if it means we pull out at an inappropriate time? The one time he took a stand on something and we got to judge the results, he was proven completely wrong. The surge worked and it turned around the war.

All this shows that Obama is clueless. He doesn't know what he is doing, and the American people will pay the price in dead bodies and economic collapse. This is going to be Carter 2.0. Carter, that well-intentioned idiot, gave away the Panama Canal and let the Shah fall to the religious zealots that have been running Iran ever since. He then limp wristed the resultant hostage crisis while the US slid into a steep economic collapse. We still haven't fixed a lot of the Carter era foreign policy problems. And Obama is going to be more of the same. I guarantee it.

I admit Bush has been something of a mini-LBJ, but the answer is not to replace hawkish cluelessness with dovish cluelessness.
7.28.2008 1:11pm
Anderson (mail):
I bet if we looked at all the presidential contests for the 20th century it would significantly weaken your conclusions.

JFK? Eisenhower? Harding? Truman?

Myself, I've seen very experienced people who became mediocre presidents (Bush the elder, for ex). LBJ was very experienced and made some disastrous policy choices.

I am more interested in judgment and brains. Can the guy think on his feet? Does he sound like he knows what he's talking about? Do I get the feeling that he's going to think things through and listen to a range of advice, or just go off half-cocked?

See this Jerusalem Post bit (via Rozen):

Two months ago in the Oval Office, President George W. Bush, coming to the end of a two-term presidency and presumably as expert on Israeli-Palestinian policy as he is ever going to be, was accompanied by a team of no fewer than five advisers and spokespeople during a 40-minute interview with this writer and three other Israeli journalists.

In March, on his whirlwind visit to Israel, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, one of whose primary strengths is said to be his intimate grasp of foreign affairs, chose to bring along Sen. Joe Lieberman to the interview our diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon and I conducted with him, looked to Lieberman several times for reassurance on his answers and seemed a little flummoxed by a question relating to the nuances of settlement construction.

On Wednesday evening, toward the end of his packed one-day visit here, Barack Obama, the Democratic senator who is leading the race for the White House and who lacks long years of foreign policy involvement, spoke to The Jerusalem Post with only a single aide in his King David Hotel room, and that aide's sole contribution to the conversation was to suggest that the candidate and I switch seats so that our photographer would get better lighting for his pictures.


That kind of thing, along with the fact that, in the interview, Obama is actually talking sense, counts for more with me than does somebody's CV.
7.28.2008 1:12pm
Anderson (mail):
You mean like his opposition to the surge?

If you will recall, the surge's military booster, Petraeus, gave it a 25% chance of success. Does that make him clueless, too?

Obama was skeptical that temporarily pacifying Baghdad would produce the political progress needed. That was a sensible position, and it still looks pretty good -- I don't think we can tell whether the country's settling down, or just sharpening the knives for when the Americans leave.

What's obvious, to the Iraqis and to everyone else with any sense, is that Iraq is not going to stand on its own two feet with an American occupation in place. That's why Maliki wants a timetable, and that's one reason why Obama wants one too.

Obama has always said that his goal is to get out on a timetable, subject to conditions on the ground. Why is that so hard for honest debaters to grasp? Oh wait ...
7.28.2008 1:16pm
The Ace (mail):
Slip-sliding around what original claim? The bill cut taxes for the rich. It also cut some taxes for the non-rich. Does that somehow change the fact that it cut taxes for the rich? Or that the estate and capital-gains tax cuts were predominantly benefits for the affluent, not for people qualifying for EIC?

Um, "tax cuts for the rich" was the original claim.

That original claim is false.

How do we know this?
Because non rich taxpayers had their taxes cut.
7.28.2008 1:18pm
Anderson (mail):
Um, "tax cuts for the rich" was the original claim.

That original claim is false.

How do we know this?
Because non rich taxpayers had their taxes cut.


Oh, I see -- it's an English comprehension problem. Sorry to step on your weak spot, "Ace."
7.28.2008 1:21pm
trad and anon:
cf: (i bet a lot of voters would like a president who would cut federal spending-but we are put into an election where both candidates will be raising spending. So the spending voter asks-ok-who's spending less?)
Not really. Voters don't like "spending," and they don't like "deficits," but they're staunchly opposed to cuts in virtually any actual program. Defense, social security, and medicare make up 3/4 of the budget (more if you count "off-budget" war spending as part of the budget). All three of those programs are wildly popular and cutting them is virtually impossible unless you can cut military spending because we've just received a "peace dividend."

Smaller programs always have interests willing to fight tooth and nail for them, while there are fewer programs that interest groups have a vested interest in cutting, so they're hard to cut. The interests in favor of them can usually spin them in a way that makes a noticeable portion of the public favor them, even if it's a lie. (See claims that proposed cuts for PBS were going to eliminate Big Bird, even though Sesame Street more than pays for itself.) Congress couldn't even cut the bridge to nowhere!

So candidates are afraid to propose cuts in any particular program. Instead, they claim they'll cut spending by eliminating "waste, fraud, and abuse," but that never amounts to much.
7.28.2008 1:25pm
Oren:
...gave away the Panama Canal
Shocking to think that a canal through Panama should belong to . . . drumroll . . . Panama. God only knows what we would think of some foreign power controlling one of *our* canals.
7.28.2008 1:25pm
The Ace (mail):
Obama has always said that his goal is to get out on a timetable, subject to conditions on the ground.

Your ignorance is astouding.


Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday U.S. combat forces should be out of Iraq by spring 2008 to end "a foreign policy disaster," but he stopped short of endorsing a cutoff in funds.


Note he said nothing about conditions on the ground.

Do you delude yourself much?
7.28.2008 1:26pm
Brian Mac:
Uh_Clem has a point: why is nobody paying attention to the prediction markets? McCain's stock marginally rose during Obama's overseas tour (although he's still only a one in three shot). Seems to say more than the polls do.

But please, back to the "tax cuts for the rich" debate!
7.28.2008 1:28pm
The Ace (mail):
Oh, I see -- it's an English comprehension problem. Sorry to step on your weak spot, "Ace."

Hilarious.

Um, when you bandy about the phrase "tax cuts for the rich" as the left has, it is taken to mean they were only for the rich. And Bush's buddies and such.

I could bog down this server with examples, but why bother?
7.28.2008 1:28pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Over 90 comments on a post about a change in a July poll. Wow, apparently no one, including me, has enough work to do.

Obama is going to win but a change in the polls after a well covered foreign trip tells us very little. If these leads are the same in 2 weeks, maybe we have a trend. Or not, after all, these are July polls. People are just not that interested in politics in the middle of summer.
7.28.2008 1:31pm
Hoosier:
Thales:
"I think what matters more is judgment, temperament, ideas, grace under pressure, etc."

Buit how is a voter supposed to know if a candidate has these characteristics if he does not have a record of experience to judge by? Juke wants us to judge Obama by how he campaigns. This tells us more about his ambition than anything else. So I will stipulate: Obama is very ambitious.

But how can I judge his judgment? He doesn't have a record to use as evidence. Obama supporters seem to have taken toward politics the approach that G E Moore took toward ethics, namely, it "seems right" to me.

I'm going to stick with Hume on this stuff, if you don't mind.
7.28.2008 1:31pm
The Ace (mail):
Obama has always said that his goal is to get out on a timetable, subject to conditions on the ground. Why is that so hard for honest debaters to grasp? Oh wait ...

Why is it so difficult for you to grasp you are making things up?



Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has called for the immediate withdrawal of all US combat brigades from Iraq, with the pullout being completed by the end of next year.

"Let me be clear: There is no military solution in Iraq and there never was," said Obama.

"The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq's leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year - now."


He called for the immediate withdrawl.

This is an indisputable fact.
7.28.2008 1:31pm
Hoosier:
Wow, apparently no one, including me, has enough work to do

Ok. I actually do have enough work to do. But it bores me.
7.28.2008 1:32pm
Anderson (mail):
Those not already familiar with Obama's July 14, 2008 NYT op-ed (the one McCain didn't get to respond to in the same paper) should take a look, if they're actually curious what Obama's proposing.

Or you could read Ace's link from a year and a half ago.
7.28.2008 1:35pm
The Ace (mail):
Or you could read Ace's link from a year and a half ago.

Um, so Odumbo lied in the primaries then, right?

Or, you don't understand the phrase:
Obama has always said that his goal is to get out on a timetable, subject to conditions on the ground.

Which is it?
7.28.2008 1:36pm
Anderson (mail):
Ok. I actually do have enough work to do. But it bores me.

Seconded.

Instead of smoking a few cigarettes after filing a motion for summary judgment, I find it marginally healthier to read blogs.

Ace: one more reading tip. If I *begin* to remove A from B, I do not *immediately* withdraw A from B.

That's valuable advice, whether you're discussing politics or practicing birth control.
7.28.2008 1:37pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
The Gallup poll was pre-ordained to give Obama the "bounce" that he was "entitled" to after his world tour.

Polls, schmolls, however. Someone show me a plausible theory how he can turn red states blue without losing any blue states, and either enough red states or the right ones in order to beat McCain. I just don't see it.
7.28.2008 1:39pm
Hoosier:
Anderson: You're partially correct. But I watched him on "MtP" yesterday, and he has no convincing eplanation for why his position has changed. When asked if he was wrong about the surge, his respinse is that BUSH and co were wrong, because it went much better than they thought it would, too. (I'll take this as an admission of error.)

The question then becomes: How wrong were you? Very, very wrong, by your own description of events, no?

I was not in favor of the surge. McCain was. He was right. Obama and I were wrong. I don't have to make those sorts of decisions starting in January.

Since Obama wants to make those decisions, I'd like Obama to explain what happened. Where did he go wrong with his exit strategy for Iraq? Why won't it happen again next year?
7.28.2008 1:40pm
The Ace (mail):
if they're actually curious what Obama's proposing.

You mean after running around the country for 2 years proudly proclaiming that he was against the Iraq war?

Or do you mean after giving a speech where he called for the immediate withdrawl of troops?

Or do you mean after this?

Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ended the suspense tonight, joining 12 other senators, all but two who were Democrats, in voting against the Iraq War spending bill because it didn't contain a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops.


Note he didn't talk about any "conditions on the ground."
7.28.2008 1:40pm
The Ace (mail):
If I *begin* to remove A from B, I do not *immediately* withdraw A from B.

Um, did he use the word "now"?

Why yes he did.

Otherwise, since you've never been in the military, let me also point out that you don't just move 150,000 + troops and all the associated equipment, supplies, and support personnel in 2 months.

Stop typing, you're embarrassingly uninformed.
7.28.2008 1:43pm
The Ace (mail):
Ace: one more reading tip. If I *begin* to remove A from B, I do not *immediately* withdraw A from B.

Hilarious.

is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year - now."

I guess to you since he wasn't proposing to wave a magic wand and teleport them all home in one fell swoop, he wasn't calling for an immediate withdrawl. Even though the article was headlined as such.

Please, continue smoking. It is obviously quite helpful to your brain.
7.28.2008 1:46pm
Anon21:
NaG:
I am actually surprised that Obama is not up by double digits. At this point, I think that he's at his high-water mark.

Hoosier:
I have the same question about all of this. Obama was on "MtP" with Brokaw yesterday. He answered the question about his position in the polls in a way that made me ask: "Why aren't you FAR ahead? This is clearly a Democratic year."

BT:
As some others upthread have noted, I am surprised that BO is not up by 20 to 30% given the media's infatuation with him and his message and that McCain has proven to be a mediocre candidate. The fact that he is only up by 9% may be an indication that this race is alot closer than people think.

Brett Bellmore:
Really, it shocks me that the race is as close as it is. When you compensate for people who say they'll vote for Obama just because they don't want the pollster to assume they're racist, (A known factor.) it's near a dead heat.

Jim at FSU:
Negative is pointing out that he hasn't got a 40 percent lead despite healing lepers and parting the red sea on a daily basis.

Hairy Mark:

I agree. Given the war, economy, and popularity of the current president, Obama should be WAY ahead in the polls.


Matthew Yglesias:
Can I just note that I seem to live in some kind of mirror universe where the fact that Barack Obama has, for months, maintained a modest lead over John McCain in every public poll constitutes bad news for Obama and that the specific reason it constitutes bad news for Obama is that the larger political climate is favorable to Obama. The trouble of course is that given the favorable climate the expectation is that Obama will lead, so in order to "really" win, he needs to win by some gigantic margin -- merely being the first Democrat in over thirty years to secure a majority doesn't cut it. Or something.

But wouldn't it be interesting to visit an alternative reality in which the goal of a campaign is to win the election rather than to beat arbitrary media expectations? In this world, a modest-sized but stable and consistent lead would count as an indication that you're winning. And the existence of favorable background conditions for your candidacy would assuage doubts that the lead is likely to vanish over time.

Obama's going to win. I'm really sorry, because I know that's going to be hard on you guys, even as it is good for the country. If you start the grieving process now, you may be in decent shape by Inauguration Day.
7.28.2008 1:51pm
trad and anon:
1) His record (tax and spend, gun control, pro-abortion)

Let's see about McCain's record: pro-"amnesty," pro-abortion rights, anti-education, gun control.

2) His lack of a record (his inexperience)

I'll grant you the experience issue, but a voting record is a disadvantage, not an advantage. Too much stuff in there for the opposition to dig up and misrepresent.

3) His associates (Wright, Ayers, Rezko, and Pflegger)

Lindner (the guy who had his company fund terrorists), Hagee (Catholic Church is the "whore of Babylon" and responsible for the Holocaust), Parsley (wage war against all Muslims, terrorist or no). And let's not forget the ever-so-popular George W. Bush.

4) His mortgage (sweet heart deal)

As opposed to McCain having too many houses to remember to pay taxes on them all?

5) His flip-flops (fisa, Iraq, gun control, etc)

Timetables, gun control (for, then against), abortion rights (for, then against), tax cuts (against, then for), etc.

6) His brutal battle with Hillary

Which gave him loads of favorable media coverage and a base of committed supporters willing to fight for him. There are virtually no PUMA's.

7) His personality (cocky and arrogant)

And McCain's personality (unable to remember his positions on the issues, out of touch because so rich he's never pumped his own gas)

8) His poor debate skills (Hillary beat him in every one and Obama will not meet McCain in Town Hall meetings)

And McCain has terrible public speaking skills and no charisma. Obama would lose a town hall meeting, probably, but since it will never happen the voters will never see it. Let's not forget that GWB lost all three debates with Kerry.

9) His own comments ("bitter Americans")

100 years in Iraq.
7.28.2008 1:53pm
Le Messurier (mail):

Anderson said:

Slip-sliding around what original claim? The bill cut taxes for the rich. It also cut some taxes for the non-rich. Does that somehow change the fact that it cut taxes for the rich? Or that the estate and capital-gains tax cuts were predominantly benefits for the affluent, not for people qualifying for EIC?


The real point of the tax cuts was to stimulate the economy. Remember? And, coupled with monetary policy, it worked very well. In fact they brought us out of a recession. Remember? It is hard to imagine that cutting taxes for the non-rich would have had anywhere near as salutary effect on the economy. It really is at the point where taxes can't be productively cut for the non-rich as they pay so few taxes relative to the "rich". I have a feeling that your real gripe is that there are too people making "too much money", and not that they got their taxes cut.
7.28.2008 1:54pm
Sarcastro (www):
Props to the The Ace for fearlessly (but always respectfully) standing up to legions of people on this blog who don't think Obama is some kind of crazy military-hating maniac.

It's clear from that one statement Obama made in a debate back in the day what he was thinking:

"I, Barak Obama, want to send all the troops home and leave all their gear on the ground, because I hate America and am kinda dumb."

Also, we should all call Obama Odumbo It's classy.
7.28.2008 1:56pm
The Ace (mail):
100 years in Iraq

???

What, exactly do you think this means?
Because I'm guess it doesn't mean what you are implying it does..
7.28.2008 2:04pm
The Ace (mail):
It's clear from that one statement Obama made in a debate back in the day what he was thinking

It is rather interesting you don't have a point.
7.28.2008 2:05pm
PC:
White House projects record deficit for 2009.

National Debt History by President

Yes, we need another Republican in office to end our long national nightmare of...another Republican in office.

/facepalm.jpg
7.28.2008 2:06pm
Hoosier:
Anon21: Well, your premature gloating is very convincing. I guess there's nothing more that needs to be said.

So you can go home now.
7.28.2008 2:06pm
mwl:
I wouldn't stake anything on a prediction of the winner of this election at this point.

But for my part, McCain is clearly the least of the evils this time around. The prospect of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid with nearly-unchecked control of the government horrifies me.

Obama is hugely popular in Europe because he's a socialist, just like most Europeans. Yet, how well have socialist programs worked for the Europeans? Why is it that the UK has to import half of its doctors to work for its national health system? Why is it that the French have 35-hour work weeks and massive unemployment? Why are so many European countries racked by violence and rioting within immigrant communities? These are not examples that we should wish to emulate.
7.28.2008 2:07pm
Sarcastro (www):
Hoosier makes a helluva point, though I am a bit harder to convince. If Anon21 gloats one more time, I'm on board though.

Course, if in November Anon21's candidate doesn't win, I'm sure his prediction was right, and the election was stolen.
7.28.2008 2:11pm
hattio1:
Ace, at 12:26 pm posted a quote from a news story, not from Obama*, that he believe proved Obama was wanting to get us out by a timetable no matter what the facts were on the ground.

Unfortunately, at the bottom of that news story, it contained this little gem.


The bill also would place conditions on economic aid to Iraq and would allow for a temporary suspension of the redeployment if the Iraqis meet security, political and economic benchmarks.


Temporary suspension if the facts on the ground change....hmmm. Seems to blow your point out of the water. Reading to the bottom of the article is a good skill.

*Just a thought, maybe if a news story doesn't quote one aspect of a politician's remarks, maybe it's because they actually have space constraints.
7.28.2008 2:20pm
NaG (mail):
Anon21 (and Q): Yes, a lead is a lead. But Yglesias is picking a strawman. I'm not saying that Obama has to be trouncing McCain already. I don't think it's out of bounds to note that Obama, in the best possible environment with a huge week on the huge subject of foreign policy, not only can't crack a double-digit lead, but he can't even crack 50%. You can argue that the size of his lead is not important since the environment promises that he won't lose many voters, but that's a thin reed of hope. Dukakis had a 17-point lead on Bush Pere around this time, and lost badly. A double-digit lead in the summer is just not as far-fetched as Yglesias wants to have us believe. And that is what makes Obama's failure to reach it interesting.

I think this is going to be a volatile campaign in terms of the polls -- I actually think the campaigning itself will be pretty clean compared to others in the past. I do expect McCain to take the lead at least once. How Obama manages his ship when that happens will really spell the difference.

And FYI, I don't care which one wins. I'm not voting for either one. I just like the sport.
7.28.2008 2:31pm
Angus:
Before conservatives use the word "Socialist," they should be forced to look up the definition in a dictionary.

Also, how can one rationally argue with a person who says "Odumbo"?
7.28.2008 2:42pm
Cornellian (mail):
I remember during the Florida recount battle that Bob Dole, when asked for a comment, said "If all else fails, I'm available." If Dole had been elected, presidential press conferences would have been a lot more fun.
7.28.2008 2:42pm
psychdoc (mail) (www):
I think those of us on the right don't see how the 'experience' arguments breaks down; we chose GWB after all. GWB could have been seen as having less experience 'being an adult' than most people his age prior to being president. Obama is seen as having a better tax plan in that it brings in more revenue. All other things being equal, it would be good to have a black president; this change itself would get us past the 'don't let whitey off the hook' of the Jesse Jacksons. Maybe McCain choosing Lawrence Summers would be of benefit to him. McCain has said that 'economics' is a topic he is not an expert in; Clinton's ex-Treasury secretary continues to have trenchant views and might suggest a return to happier economic times to some in swing states..
7.28.2008 2:43pm
BT:
Anon21:

Since you have shown such great concern for me and my well being as regarding the impending BO presidency, let me return the favor. Please accept this gift of a pillow to soften the blow to your head as you hit the ground after fainting upon voting for the beloved Obama.
7.28.2008 2:44pm
Thales (mail) (www):
"I remember during the Florida recount battle that Bob Dole, when asked for a comment, said "If all else fails, I'm available." If Dole had been elected, presidential press conferences would have been a lot more fun."

Agree 100%. McCain should start prematurely filming his own Visa CheckCard and "performance enhancing" drug commercials.
7.28.2008 2:48pm
Floridan:
Jim at FSU: "Carter, that well-intentioned idiot, gave away the Panama Canal . . . "

And what a disaster that turned out to be.
7.28.2008 2:52pm
The Ace (mail):
The bill also would place conditions on economic aid to Iraq and would allow for a temporary suspension of the redeployment if the Iraqis meet security, political and economic benchmarks.

Well, Odumbo trumpted his bill as "offered on the Senate floor last night, would remove all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008" and "It is time to give Iraqis their country back."

He did say "It would leave a limited number of troops in place to conduct counterterrorism activities and train Iraqi forces"

However, he titled the bill the "Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007"

So he was trying to have it both ways.
7.28.2008 2:56pm
The Ace (mail):
By the way, it is fun looking at all these news stories from barely a year ago in light of Odumbo's "everyone knew the surge would work" stance.
7.28.2008 2:58pm
Billy Mays (mail):
Gentlepeople:

we are looking at a difference of 100,000 votes right now.

1. Obama is at his traditional highwater mark: history suggests that after September 1, when the ads run about his actual proposals (raising taxes, troops, snubbing troops at Ramstein as it will be put--properly too I think), his numbers will erode. These are not the things people normally vote for. Given the miserable failure of Bush domestically, Obama should be ten points ahead. He's not.

2. But, Obama seeems to be a decent guy, and people are DISGUSTED with 8 years of republican greed, mismanagement and Goeoge Bush's tone-deaf admininstration. McCain was a darling when he was a "spoiler" but what on earth does he stand for now? Other than reminiscing about the surge, what? Obama's numbers won't fall below McCains.

3. McCain is weak: there is no reason to vote FOR him: George Bush's lamentable term failed to nuture a single successor; failed to take on the big crooks and was so out of touch he nominated Harriet Meiers for the USSC. Unlike Nixon, who tried to impound funds, Bush never saw a spending bill he didn't embrace with relish. Not one federal program has been cut or reduced. The republicans even managed to forfeit their one basis for being elected--standing for budgetary restraint. So McCain goes into this election with only the surge as his selling point. Its not enough. The evry success of the surge works against McCain.

4. If McCain flubs a speech or a debate--referring to his befuddlement with email that millions use--a sexist joke--or falls asleep--he's toast. Voters willl clsoe their minds by the hundreds of thousands.

5. Obama can recover from most flubs: the "study" that "proves" the media were tougher on Obama is asking me to ignore my "lying eyes" that read what was published and watched what was aired. Plus people want to believe him: he suggests hope and decemcy. And he's young. McCain is not Reagan.

6. But...Obama has a record of tin cans that McCain can use if he's smart. agile and enlarges his campaign beyond the surge. (1) Tax the off shore companies or forbid them from doing business with the US Government. Don't suggest raising taxes here; (2) next time the US extends releif to homeowners, take some equity back for the Governemnt; (3), promise to veto some spending bills you idiot; (4), visit the troops in Ramstein;(5) don't falls asleep!
7.28.2008 3:28pm
Brian Mac:

Obama is hugely popular in Europe because he's a socialist, just like most Europeans.

A strong point, undercut only by the fact that neither Obama nor most Europeans are socialists.
7.28.2008 3:30pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
People didn't choose W over Obama, they chose him over Kerry and Gore. No one ever said the sun shone out of his ass or that he was the perfect candidate picked from a roster of thousands. Nearly every conservative I know is disappointed with Bush but likes his supreme court picks.

That being said, Obama represents high likelihood of:
-bad supreme court picks
-loads more spending, especially recurring expenses like entitlements
-loads more tax
-bad news for gun owners and carte blanche for the ATF
-support for whatever comes through congress in the next 4 years

McCain represents:
-50/50 chance of decent supreme court picks
-flat spending, no more taxes
-vetoes for whatever the democrats come up with

What McCain represents isn't really that great, but it is good enough, and it is way better than what Obama appears to be peddling.
7.28.2008 3:38pm
Sarcastro (www):
Brian Mac don[t you know that any government action at all is socialist?

The only exceptions I can think of are national defense and the death penalty.
7.28.2008 3:41pm
JakeGint (mail):
I mean, can you people not even argue?

Argue what? Your emotionalist straw manning about sensible tax policy that actually works for the economy?

Your kneejerk hatred for those who've managed to scrape out an income north of yours? Your insistence that those people be punished, no matter the negative effect on the overall economy, the poor, the unhouses, and any other of your alleged constituencies?

Why argue with an intellectually dishonest person with an obviously personal chip on his shoulder? I give Ace credit for putting up with you, but the journey is for you to make by yourself.

__
7.28.2008 3:42pm
Brian Mac:

Brian Mac don[t you know that any government action at all is socialist?

The only exceptions I can think of are national defense and the death penalty.


Faith-based initiatives are pretty sweet too.

But seeing as this thread is already pretty far off topic, can anyone help me understand why a man might adopt The Ace as his moniker?
7.28.2008 3:51pm
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
@Jim at FSU

Bravo!
7.28.2008 3:57pm
Sarcastro (www):
JakeGint totally understands Anderson's most secret thoughts.

Because anyone who wants higher taxes must hate the rich. There is no other explanation. Only hate.
7.28.2008 4:03pm
srg:
Anderson,

The Bush tax cuts reduced tax rates for the rich. Did they reduce taxes also? The two are not the same.
7.28.2008 4:07pm
PC:
I hope President McCain will continue with President Bush's strong dollar policy.
7.28.2008 4:09pm
James Lindgren (mail):
The Ace:

Please stop referring to Barack Obama as Odumbo.

Jim Lindgren
7.28.2008 4:09pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dave n:

I am not suggesting that McCain's final Naval command, of a Naval flight wing, is a great executive experience.


The problem is that it's his only executive experience. Which means that he and his supporters are in a weak position to complain about Obama's alleged lack of executive experience. Especially since we have few details on what happened during those 13 months. If McCain signed an SF-180, we would know a lot more. When Kerry ran (at least in part) on his war record, lots of people demanded that he sign the form. McCain is definitely running on his war record, and no one seems to care that most of those records are still secret. But we sure know a lot about Obama's birth certificate.

However, unless you have some evidence regarding "daddy" helping Captain McCain, then you are impugning the professionalism of the entire United States military in your quest to score cheap political points.


From John McCain, An American Odyssey. p. 123:

The assignment was controversial, some calling it favoritism, a sop to the famous son of a famous father and grandfather, since he had not first commanded a squadron, the usual career path.


Searchable and browsable at Amazon. The author is a Naval Academy graduate, a Marine, and a Vietnam vet. I think that qualifies as "some evidence."

By the way, I'm curious if you think the people who wore Purple Heart band-aids were "impugning the professionalism of the entire United States military in [their] quest to score cheap political points."

Oh, and Admiral McCain retired in 1972, while his son was, to use his own phrase, "otherwise occupied."


It's incredibly naive to think daddy's influence disappeared just because he retired.
7.28.2008 4:18pm
Perseus (mail):
Yeah, actually, it does stretch credibility quite a bit to think that a bunch of big businesses (the networks) want a "far-left utopian program" put in place.

But it doesn't stretch credibility to think that the journalists working for those businesses favor such a program, much like your typical college professor.
7.28.2008 4:19pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
I think people would be less worried about media bias if prominent news figures weren't talking in awed tones about the tingly sensation that Obama stimulates in their pants


That reminds me of something:

MATTHEWS: What's the importance of the president's amazing display of leadership tonight? … What do you make of the actual visual that people will see on TV and probably, as you know, as well as I, will remember a lot longer than words spoken tonight? And that's the president looking very much like a jet, you know, a high-flying jet star. A guy who is a jet pilot. Has been in the past when he was younger, obviously. What does that image mean to the American people, a guy who can actually get into a supersonic plane and actually fly in an unpressurized cabin like an actual jet pilot?

… the president deserves everything he's doing tonight in terms of his leadership. He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics.

… Here's a president who's really nonverbal. He's like Eisenhower. He looks great in a military uniform. He looks great in that cowboy costume he wears when he goes West. I remember him standing at that fence with Colin Powell. Was [that] the best picture in the 2000 campaign?

… The president there -- look at this guy! We're watching him. He looks like he flew the plane.

… He looks for real. What is it about the commander in chief role, the hat that he does wear, that makes him -- I mean, he seems like -- he didn't fight in a war, but he looks like he does.

… Look at this guy!

… We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical, who's not a complicated guy like Clinton or even like Dukakis or Mondale, all those guys, McGovern. They want a guy who's president. Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits. We don't want an indoor prime minister type, or the Danes or the Dutch or the Italians, or a Putin. Can you imagine Putin getting elected here? We want a guy as president.


And here's what Liddy said to Matthews:

Well, I -- in the first place, I think it's envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man. And here comes George Bush. You know, he's in his flight suit, he's striding across the deck, and he's wearing his parachute harness, you know -- and I've worn those because I parachute -- and it makes the best of his manly characteristic. You go run those -- run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman's vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn't count -- they're all liars. Check that out.


Feeling tingly yet?
7.28.2008 4:23pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
can anyone help me understand why a man might adopt The Ace as his moniker?


You could be making unwarranted assumptions about both age and gender.
7.28.2008 4:26pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
it shocks me that the race is as close as it is


Imagine that you knew nothing about the race, except for the fact that a bona fide war hero with a long track record of appealing to independents is running against a young black man named Barack Hussein Obama.

The fact that Obama is even in the race, and with a very good shot at winning, is mind-boggling. In a good way.
7.28.2008 4:30pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
9-point lead = landslide. Reagan only beat Carter by a "mere" 10 points.


When Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote (a 3% margin over Kerry), Cheney immediately described that as a "mandate." And many 'liberal' reporters did exactly the same thing.
7.28.2008 4:32pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
the answer is not to replace hawkish cluelessness with dovish cluelessness


Trouble is, you seem to be in favor of replacing hawkish cluelessness with hawkish cluelessness.
7.28.2008 4:33pm
Angus:

That being said, Obama represents high likelihood of:
-bad supreme court picks
-loads more spending, especially recurring expenses like entitlements
-loads more tax
-bad news for gun owners and carte blanche for the ATF
-support for whatever comes through congress in the next 4 years


1. Believe it or not, there are many who think that Alito and Roberts (apart from Heller) have turned out to be bad picks.
2. Loads more spending? As opposed to the GOP...which favors loads more spending?
3. Yes, taxes were so crippling before 2001 that our economy was in a decades-long depression.
4. In the post-Heller era, this isn't nearly the concern it once legitimately was
5. Congress and the the President almost always disagree, even when of the same party. Bush's first 5 years were an exception, as he seems at first no to have read the "veto" section of the Constitution.
7.28.2008 4:36pm
iambatman:
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/ tracks all the state polls and calculates the odds for each candidate winning that state. From there it calculates the chance of victory. Currently it's Obama-McCain 65%-35%, which is nearly exactly what the political futures are saying.
7.28.2008 4:44pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Someone show me a plausible theory how he can turn red states blue without losing any blue states, and either enough red states or the right ones in order to beat McCain. I just don't see it.


I recommend the projections at fivethirtyeight.com. The state-by-state analysis is very detailed and convincing. Also helpful are the maps at realclearpolitics.

It's remarkable to notice the states that Bush dominated in 2004, and are now a tossup. Like VA, which Bush won by 8%. Or MO, which Bush won by 7%. Or IN, which Bush won by 21%. Meanwhile, McCain is ahead in this many states that Kerry won: zero.
7.28.2008 4:46pm
Anon21:
iambatman:
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/ tracks all the state polls and calculates the odds for each candidate winning that state. From there it calculates the chance of victory. Currently it's Obama-McCain 65%-35%, which is nearly exactly what the political futures are saying.

Yeah, they tend to track pretty closely. I wonder if that's a coincidence? If I had money to lay out on political futures, I think I would be following 538 pretty closely in terms of my buy/sell choices. Nate Silver is light years ahead of other sites in terms of the sophistication of his modeling, and had a very good track record in the primaries.
7.28.2008 4:49pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
The numbers very clearly reflect that we are now dumping the lion's share of the tax burden on an increasingly small minority because they are least able to defend themselves at the ballot box.


The GOP has indeed been "dumping the lion's share of the tax burden" on a certain group "because they are least able to defend themselves at the ballot box." That group is our descendants. The GOP has not cut taxes. They have merely deferred them. The GOP policy of borrow-and-spend is immoral.
7.28.2008 4:50pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

Juke wants us to judge Obama by how he campaigns. This tells us more about his ambition than anything else.


Anyone who runs for president is ambitious. Both candidates are ambitious. But there is a difference between running a campaign, and running a campaign well. Only one candidate is doing the latter. That's not an indicator of ambition. It's an indicator of skills in leadership, management and organization.

I'm going to stick with Hume on this stuff, if you don't mind.


I have a feeling you mean Brit.
7.28.2008 4:54pm
NaG (mail):
My earlier prediction that McCain would take the lead in the polls at one point was not much of a prediction after all: McCain's up by 4 points among "likely voters" in the most recent USAToday/Gallup poll.
7.28.2008 4:54pm
The Unbeliever:
The fact is that running a large campaign takes skills in leadership, management and organization. Anyone watching both campaigns is getting a vivid demonstration that Obama has those skills and McCain does not.
Actually McCain's campaign is being effectively run, even better than Obama's is being handled. Obama's campaign, if you recall, was the one with the apparently un-vetted Reverend Wright attached to an honor position; and who also had several advisors flame out and move on during the nomination battle with Clinton. Obama himself has been inadequately responding to issues raised for the past 6 months, and I would posit this is a structural problem within his campaign endemic of someone who doesn't know how to hire people to "handle" himself very well.

Plus his campaign has been at odds with the party general, failing to notify state organizations, Democratic candidates, and the Congressional delegations of their movements--a bad sign that will have future ramifications later on. Add in the campaign's complete inability to handle its left-wing "nutroots" like Kos and MoveOn, and you have more a picture of disorder beneath facade than of true efficiency in message presentation.

On the McCain side, it is the man's personality and temperament holding them back. For example, rhetorically bopping state GOP staff on the head for going negative is a direct reflection of the kind of politics McCain himself wants to emody. His campaign actually does hold a very tight control over its message, even within a party that generally isn't enthusiastic about him. It's just that the product they're pitching isn't very popular... and that's more a problem of the product than the salespeople.

But if any candidate were holding up "running a campaign" as their prime example of executive experience, sufficient to qualify them to hold the highest office in the land, I'd laugh at them regardless of whether they had an (R), (D), or (I) after their name.

And I notice you have no comment on McCain's "primary resume bullet point for him being an effective executive President:" 13 months, 30 years ago, in a job he probably got via his daddy. And he's so proud of it he omitted it from the official campaign bio posted on his web site.
That's because:

(1) I have no interest in defending McCain. I've been refusing to vote for him for 8 years now, and see no reason to break that streak this year. I made a case against McCain EVER holding public office (executive or legislative) back in 2003, and he hasn't done anything in the interim to dissuade me.
(2) I don't think he has sufficient executive experience to satisfy my demand for such, though he certainly has more than Obama (he's also been in public service longer than Obama has been an adult).
(3) Your characterization of the point was so benightedly wrong that I doubt refuting you, point by point, with carefully reasoned logic and characterizations, would do any good.
7.28.2008 4:56pm
calmom:
The polls are coming fast and furious. The new Gallup/USA Today poll just released today shows McCain up by 4% among likely voters.

Maybe it's an outlier. Maybe Obama's speaking in Berlin, Germany instead of Berlin, Wisconsin has hurt him. Or reneging on a promise to visit injured troops when he couldn't bring the press cameras. Who knows. Polls are fun, but meaningless on a July day for an election in November.
7.28.2008 4:59pm
Constantin:
Latest USA Today / Gallup poll has McCain up four among likely voters, a ten point swing from last month. The Gallup Poll that started this thread surveyed registered voters. It makes a difference.

Big O might want to start explaining why he should be president. Any information on his tax plan, for instance would be a start.
7.28.2008 5:02pm
JakeGint (mail):
Sarcastro "judges all" and by his judgement ye shall be affixed, faire and proper.

After all, he's "just joking."
7.28.2008 5:07pm
Anderson (mail):
JakeGint totally understands Anderson's most secret thoughts.

Handy, that -- saves me the trouble of commenting. I can get more work done that way too.
7.28.2008 5:10pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
To rehash a few points that have been settled above:
1) Obama supported pulling out immediately and unconditionally instead of The Surge. He was wrong. Despite his attempts to doublespeak around this and heap scorn on the people that supported the correct policy, his one foreign policy stand, the one time he took a side and defended it... he was wrong.

2) Because of the horrible tax structure in this country, it is no longer possible to cut taxes for anyone but the "rich," at least not in any meaningful way.

Obama is proposing increases to income and capital gains tax. He justifies this, not on the grounds that it is necessary to benefit the country in some concrete way, but that it is "unfair" that the CEO should pay tax at the same rate as the secretary.

In my opinion, the true unfairness is that the blame for the disastrous outcome of these tax policies will be laid upon the victims- those leaders in the corporate world who will have less money with which to retain employees, invest in the future or provide goods at affordable prices.

3) and regarding the wisdom of Carter:

Shocking to think that a canal through Panama should belong to . . . drumroll . . . Panama. God only knows what we would think of some foreign power controlling one of *our* canals.

Until the US built the Panama Canal, Panama was a trackless jungle infested with horrible diseases. We used the US Navy to split Panama off from Colombia and then built the Canal at a cost of thousands of American lives. Whatever worth Panama has, it has that worth because the United States put it there. It belongs to us. Or would, if someone hadn't given it away. Why they regularly consider Washington DC for statehood but never considered Panama, I have never understood.
7.28.2008 5:15pm
Perseus (mail):
The GOP has indeed been "dumping the lion's share of the tax burden" on a certain group "because they are least able to defend themselves at the ballot box." That group is our descendants.

I agree that dumping the tax burden on one's descendants is problematic, which is why I think that the federal government's ponzi schemes Social Security and Medicare programs need some serious reforming.
7.28.2008 5:16pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
his opposition to the surge


Since the day Obama's bill was introduced, we have lost this many Americans: 1,121. This is how many have been injured: 6,760. 2007 was the worst year of the war.

Those who defend the surge should show proof that all those dead and injured were truly necessary, and were the best and only way to get to where we are. There's quite a bit of evidence that some or all of the improvement we've seen would have happened with or without the surge. McFarland said this (pdf, p. 51):

Overall, by February 2007, contacts with insurgents dropped almost 70 percent compared to the numbers in June 2006, and they had dramatically decreased in complexity and effect


In other words, there was a great deal of improvement before the surge started.

I think public defender said it very well. When McCain talks about the surge, he's "trying to take credit for partially mitigating his own screw-up." And there's good reason to believe that a large portion of the credit should go to the Anbar Awakening, and not to the surge. Especially because most of the surge troops went to Baghdad, not Anbar.
7.28.2008 5:18pm
Jay Myers:
Oren:

Shocking to think that a canal through Panama should belong to . . . drumroll . . . Panama. God only knows what we would think of some foreign power controlling one of *our* canals.

We should have given the canal zone back to Columbia since that is the country we stole the land from. Also, the Panamanians should give us our money back with compound interest. The deal was that we would use our fleet and diplomatic clout to help the future Panamanians secede from Columbia and in exchange they would sell us the land for the canal. If the contract is void then shouldn't all its provisions be void?
7.28.2008 5:23pm
JakeGint (mail):
The GOP has indeed been "dumping the lion's share of the tax burden" on a certain group "because they are least able to defend themselves at the ballot box." That group is our descendants. The GOP has not cut taxes. They have merely deferred them. The GOP policy of borrow-and-spend is immoral.

Agreed. I look forward in your joining the call to immediately cease all "ear-marking" and to eliminate and/or restructure the most wasteful and inefficient entitlement programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and yes, the entire Pentagon black hole.
7.28.2008 5:25pm
JakeGint (mail):
I have a feeling you mean Brit.

Lol. I don't agree with a thing you've said, but I have to give you point for that one.

The best jokes are the ones that "take a second..."
7.28.2008 5:28pm
JakeGint (mail):
Handy, that -- saves me the trouble of commenting. I can get more work done that way too.

Here's your downside: It's only me.

Looks like you'll have to continue publishing for the rest of the benighted.

Look at as "smoker's intervention."
7.28.2008 5:32pm
rarango (mail):
Re the surge--the current point I see most cited by Obama supporters is that is too early to know if the surge was successful. Well YES--it is; but at least we know the consequences of the surge Obama predicted was an increase in sectarian violence--That may well happen, but it hasnt happened yet, which mean Obama is wrong to date.

Now the argument that we don't know if the surge has worked because the fullness of time has not yet played out--That argument applies especially to President Bush's preemptive was/make Iraq a democratic model in the mid east--Obama supporters cant and Bush critics can't have it both ways from a logic standpoint. So does Obama get a mulligan on his strategic judgment or a pass because the surge hasnt played out yet. And if Obama gets one, certainly Bush gets one

How DOES that logic thing work anyway?

Would have been easier if everyone had taken a somewhat longer view in the first place.
7.28.2008 5:37pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
unbeliever:

Actually McCain's campaign is being effectively run, even better than Obama's is being handled.


I think you are really, really reaching. And spinning. Something interesting is happening when I turn to Fox and they pan McCain's speech, telling us he "sounded old." And the speech was so bad Karl Rove says "content better than delivery" (video).

And then they have the brilliant idea of planning a trip to an oil-rig when the weather forecast calls for a hurricane. And of course there's the business about how he had to disown Gramm. It's a long list.

[Obama] also had several advisors flame out and move


You're forgetting that McCain had the same thing happen several times, aside from Gramm.

Obama himself has been inadequately responding to issues raised for the past 6 months


Says you and people like you. Who else?

On the McCain side, it is the man's personality and temperament holding them back


That's like saying the only problem with the McCain campaign is McCain.

His campaign actually does hold a very tight control over its message


Except for when it doesn't. Like when Gramm speaks up.

Your characterization of the point was so benightedly wrong that I doubt refuting you, point by point, with carefully reasoned logic and characterizations, would do any good


English translation: 'you're wrong, but I'm not going to say why.' Impressive!
7.28.2008 5:50pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Combining responses to several different people.

Obama supported pulling out immediately and unconditionally


It's already been pointed out that it was not "unconditionally." There was a provision to suspend the pullout in response to conditions "on the ground" (I hate that phrase).

I look forward in your joining the call to immediately cease all "ear-marking" and to eliminate and/or restructure the most wasteful and inefficient entitlement programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and yes, the entire Pentagon black hole.


Where the money comes from and where it goes are basically separate issues. Cutting spending is a large and complex problem. At the moment, I'm talking about where the money comes from. I'm just saying that given a certain amount of spending, I greatly prefer tax-and-spend to borrow-and-spend. The GOP is all about the latter. After all, Cheney said "deficits don't matter."

Would have been easier if everyone had taken a somewhat longer view in the first place.


Indeed. It was probably not a good idea for Rumsfeld to tell us that most of the troops would be home in six months. And McCain should probably not have told us "we will win it easily." But if these folks had been wiser and more truthful, there probably would have been no war at all.
7.28.2008 5:50pm
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):

Before conservatives use the word "Socialist," they should be forced to look up the definition in a dictionary.


@Angus

Apparently you are just another godless commie hell-bent on corrupting our precious bodily fluids. Please excuse me now. I need to spend time clinging to my guns.
7.28.2008 6:16pm
Anderson (mail):
Yglesias on the surge:

If you look back to the summer of 2005, you'll see that few people at the time regarded conditions in Iraq as "good" or even acceptable. And yet things got so much worse over the course of 2006 and early 2007, that improvement in 2008 to bring us back to the kind of level of violence we had three years ago -- except with more walled-off and ethnically cleansed neighborhoods in place -- is now represented as a great triumph.

Bottom line is that The Surge is supposed to be a temporary step on our way to ... what? Obama is being pilloried for wanting the United States to leave Iraq six years after we invaded.

At some point, the train has to leave the station, and the Iraqis have to either get along or kill one another. Looking at the example of South Vietnam, I don't see much percentage in propping up indefinitely a government that can't stand on its own two feet. That has been Obama's point as well -- if we're hanging around indefinitely, the Iraqis have little incentive to get their shit together.

Americans did not send their boys (and girls) to Iraq to die for a democracy that the Iraqis weren't particularly interested in dying for themselves. We went into this war on false premises. Staying around afterwards made a certain amount of sense on the theory that we owed Iraq something for blowing up their country, but we squandered a good bit of that time, blood, and treasure.
7.28.2008 6:31pm
The Ace (mail):
Since the day Obama's bill was introduced, we have lost this many Americans: 1,121. This is how many have been injured: 6,760. 2007 was the worst year of the war.

Those who defend the surge should show proof that all those dead and injured were truly necessary


Astounding.

Those opposed to the war in Iraq and the surgue, should show proof that we wouldn't have lost any soldiers during that time.
7.28.2008 6:33pm
The Ace (mail):
Yglesias on the surge:

Um, why are we supposed to accept what a leftist is saying as fact?
7.28.2008 6:34pm
The Ace (mail):
The GOP has not cut taxes. They have merely deferred them. The GOP policy of borrow-and-spend is immoral.

Again, I love how you silly leftists are pretending to be in favor of fiscal restraint.

Of course you can't name a single domestic social spending program you'd cut.
7.28.2008 6:36pm
The Ace (mail):
Cheney immediately described that as a "mandate." And many 'liberal' reporters did exactly the same thing.

Name one example of a "liberal" reporter doing this?

Republican won a mandate in 2004. This is indisputable given the number of seats gained in Congress along with winning the White House.
7.28.2008 6:38pm
The Ace (mail):
It was probably not a good idea for Rumsfeld to tell us that most of the troops would be home in six months.

Rumsfeld said no such thing.
7.28.2008 6:44pm
The Ace (mail):
Interesting,


While most national polls show Democrat Barack Obama with a single-digit edge over Republican John McCain, a new survey out this afternoon shows McCain surging into the lead.

The USA Today/Gallup poll has McCain ahead 49 percent to 45 percent among likely voters after picking up 10 percentage points over the last month. Obama still leads among the broader group of registered voters, 47 percent to 44 percent, which the pollster says is the more important this far away from the election. (Gallup's separate daily tracking poll has Obama up 49 percent to 40 percent.)


And,

Perhaps at the top of the list for the GOP candidate are fresh battleground state polls from Quinnipiac University and the Wall Street Journal that suggest he is now running head-to-head with Obama in Minnesota, Michigan and Colorado.

"Either John McCain is an overachiever or Barack Obama is an underachiever," says Hoover Institution media fellow Bill Whalen. "Either McCain rises above Republican misery - or Obama's not fully caught the wave."


All over the map it appears.
7.28.2008 6:54pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
"Rumsfeld said no such thing."

Pedantically maybe but as far as the war itself - 7 Feb 2003:

Mr Rumsfeld is in Europe to try to gain backing for possible military action against Iraq.

"It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months," he said, speaking at the American air base at Aviano, in northern Italy.
7.28.2008 7:40pm
LM (mail):
The Ace:

Obama is ahead *despite* the media:

Laugh out loud funny.

Note how that "study" did not define what a "negative" story was.

Want to take a guess as to why that is?

You mean the obvious left wing bias of that Marxist survey outfit, right? (.pdf) Well go easy on them -- remember, they've got BDS. (.pdf) (.pdf)
7.28.2008 7:44pm
The Ace (mail):
You mean the obvious left wing bias of that Marxist survey outfit, right?

If you have a point, please spit it out.
Because your links don't mean anything.

Again, Note how that "study" did not define what a "negative" story was.

Want to take a guess as to why that is?
7.28.2008 7:53pm
The Ace (mail):

You mean the obvious left wing bias of that Marxist survey outfit, right? (.pdf) Well go easy on them -- remember, they've got BDS.


As a point of fact, you are not referring to the same story as the poster I responded to.

Shocking, I know.
7.28.2008 7:54pm
Perseus (mail):
As the late Milton Friedman put it: I would rather have government spend $500 billion and run a deficit of $100 billion than have it spend $800 billion with a balanced budget.

(Of course, current numbers would be more like spending "only" $2 trillion with a deficit of $500 billion rather than spending $3 trillion with a balanced budget.)
7.28.2008 7:55pm
The Ace (mail):
Cutting spending is a large and complex problem. At the moment, I'm talking about where the money comes from. I'm just saying that given a certain amount of spending, I greatly prefer tax-and-spend to borrow-and-spend. The GOP is all about the latter.

Hysterical. Yes, because means testing social security would be so "complex"!

So would say, eliminating all earmarks.

It is funny to watch you leftists try and justify your hypocrisy.

Also, as a point of fact, the Democrats have taxed &borrowed for decades and you still vote for them.

What does that say about your silly claims?
7.28.2008 7:59pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Predictably, this thread has devolved into a "Obama: good or bad?" debate. The polls are fun for political junkies, but as many have said, it's way too early to tell.

Jim at FSU:

I wasn't misrepresenting your words at all. You said that big media corporations were willing to do "whatever it takes" to get a "far-left utopian program" in place. When I asked what "far-left utopian program" you had in mind, you referred to Obama's plan to roll back some of Bush's tax cuts. Forgive me, but I don't think that really qualifies as "far-left utopian," even if you think it would be bad policy, unless you think the U.S. in the fairly recent past had a "far-left utopian" tax policy. When I asked why you thought these big companies would "do whatever it takes" (again, your words) to see this done, you didn't reply.

My point was your rhetoric was more than a bit overwrought. I'll leave it at that.
7.28.2008 8:05pm
LM (mail):
The Ace:

As a point of fact, you are not referring to the same story as the poster I responded to.

Shocking, I know.

You were responding to Anderson's post about the survey reported in the L.A. Times by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, no? That's the organization that did every poll I linked to in my comment.

Again, Note how that "study" did not define what a "negative" story was.

Want to take a guess as to why that is?

I already gave you my guess. Why don't you give us yours?
7.28.2008 8:16pm
Brian Mac:

Again, Note how that "study" did not define what a "negative" story was.

I've been unable to find the study itself. I suspect that neither have you. Maybe you mean that the LA Times article didn't define what a negative story was? God knows what other aspects of the methodology they neglected to cover.
7.28.2008 8:37pm
LM (mail):
Brian Mac,

Good point. FWIW when I saw the L.A. Times story I e-mailed the CMPA and asked when and where I could see the study. So far no reply. Curiously, they haven't issued a press release yet. I'm just speculating, but the Times story might have caught them before they were ready to go public.
7.28.2008 9:08pm
The Ace (mail):

It's already been pointed out that it was not "unconditionally." There was a provision to suspend the pullout in response to conditions "on the ground"

Um, not so much:


[Obama's] positions on the surge and withdrawal are flatly incoherent. He's committed to withdrawal in 16 months, but a withdrawal timetable is contingent upon conditions on the ground. The surge has been a success, but even knowing what he knows now he still would've opposed the surge. It was a mistake to invade Iraq, but if al Qaeda becomes resurgent after our withdrawal we will reinvade.


What is interesting is that the left is now denying Obama became a favorite of the nutroots because of his immediate withdrawal position on Iraq.
7.28.2008 9:59pm
The Ace (mail):
That's the organization that did every poll I linked to in my comment.

Um, and then what?

I already gave you my guess. Why don't you give us yours?

Except you didn't.

Again, if you have a point, type it out.
7.28.2008 10:01pm
The Ace (mail):
Obama is ahead *despite* the media:

Absurd.

Senator Obama has received 90% positive evaluations on both ABC and CBS, along with 73% positive comments on NBC. Senator Clinton's coverage has varied more across the networks, ranging from 68% favorable comments on ABC to only 38% favorable on NBC, along with 50% favorable comments on CBS. Thus, the spread between the two candidates is greatest on CBS -- a forty percentage point difference in proportion of good press.


I'm sure a bunch of liberal journalists, who are donating to Obama by a 10:1 ratio, have decided to cover him "negatively."
7.28.2008 10:09pm
Brian K (mail):
The Ace,

I just love it when you start posting. watching you get shot down* repeatedly amuses me to no end.


*pun fully intended, although i would be shocked if you understood it.
7.28.2008 10:27pm
LM (mail):
The Ace,

Do you agree that you responded to Anderson's post about the study reported in the L.A. Times by the Center for Media and Public Affairs with

Obama is ahead *despite* the media:

Laugh out loud funny.

Note how that "study" did not define what a "negative" story was.

Want to take a guess as to why that is?

?

If not, than please tell us what you were responding to.

Since every indication is that's exactly what you were responding to, I answered your question by speculating that you assume the study was biased. Which is why I linked to several examples (.pdf, .pdf, .pdf) of what's made the organization that performed the study a favorite of conservatives, cited enthusiastically by the likes of Free Republic and Michelle Malkin, and supported financially by the likes of Skaife and Olin.

You claimed not to have understood some or all of that, so here, as you requested, I've typed it out. Will you respond to it now, or just keep saying "absurd"?
7.28.2008 11:41pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
ace:

Those opposed to the war in Iraq and the surgue, should show proof that we wouldn't have lost any soldiers during that time.


Nice job with the straw man. I didn't say that without the surge we would not have lost any since 1/07 (when Obama filed his bill). I said that the US dead and injured since that time (7,881) would have undoubtedly been less. Probably a lot less. If you're too thick to grasp that, that's your problem. And next time, try responding to what I actually said, instead of something you invented.

I love how you silly leftists are pretending to be in favor of fiscal restraint.


As PC demonstrated here, the GOP's ability to pretend "to be in favor of fiscal restraint" died a long time ago.

Of course you can't name a single domestic social spending program you'd cut.


Two GOP energy bills that amounted to billions in pork for the oil business are definitely domestic spending. And they're "social," too, given that these are the folks that Bush socializes with.

By the way, I think there should be means-testing for SS. So that's another "domestic social spending program" I'd cut.

Hysterical. Yes, because means testing social security would be so "complex"!


You're obviously all about making unwarranted assumptions. I am indeed in favor of means-testing SS. I was going to say so in this thread, and didn't only because the thread got locked prematurely.

the Democrats have taxed &borrowed for decades


Dubya has added more to our debt than all prior presidents, combined. The Democrats have a ways to go if they are going to try to meet the new standard he has set.
7.29.2008 1:34am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
ace:

Name one example of a "liberal" reporter doing this [describing Bush's victory as a mandate]


Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote. Cheney immediately called that a "mandate," and the press chimed in to say he was right.

This is what Time magazine said: "his claim of a popular mandate is incontrovertible."

This is what NBC News said: "Bush … has a solid mandate."

This is what the LA Times said: "Bush can claim a solid mandate."

This is what the Boston Globe said: "[Bush has] a clear mandate."

USAToday ran this headline: "Clear Mandate Will Boost Bush's Authority"

Wolf Blitzer said this: "[Bush is] going to say he's got a mandate from the American people, and by all accounts he does."

NPR said this: "The president's people are calling this a mandate. By any definition I think you could call this a mandate."

That darn liberal media!

Republican won a mandate in 2004. This is indisputable given the number of seats gained in Congress along with winning the White House.


Nice job trying to slide the goalposts around. Cheney and the above 'liberal' reporters are not talking about how "Republican" [sic] won a mandate. They said Bush did.

And you're exaggerating "the number of seats gained." In the House, the GOP won 49% of the popular vote, and gained 3 seats. In the Senate, the GOP actually lost the popular vote by more than 5 points, but still gained 4 seats.

So Bush's 50.7% was actually higher than what the GOP did in congress. Some "mandate."
7.29.2008 1:35am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
ace:

Rumsfeld said no such thing [most of the troops would be home in six months]


Wrong. He did.

bob:

Pedantically maybe but as far as the war itself


Yes, you have the right speech, but no, he was not just saying "the war itself" would be over in six months. He said most of the troops would be home in six months. He said that after six months, only a "residual number" of troops would be needed.
7.29.2008 1:35am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
ace:

Um, not so much


Let's review, because this is a terrific example of what an outstanding waste of time you are. I said Obama's bill contained a provision to suspend the pullout in response to conditions on the ground.

You deny this. And your idea of showing proof is to paste in a paragraph from National Review that is both incoherent and irrelevant. Of course, you provide no link, and you don't even mention where you found the text (I guess you don't realize it's customary to give credit when doing such a thing). But your text did indeed come from National Review. And it's interesting to notice that the article isn't even about Obama's bill, and it doesn't mention Obama's bill or make any claims about Obama's bill.

Oddly enough, a good way to learn about Obama's bill is to look at Obama's bill. It's here. It has a provision called "Suspension of Redeployment," which gives POTUS power to suspend the redeployment if "doing so is in the national security interests of the United States."

So your claim ("not so much") is pure baloney, like almost everything else you say.
7.29.2008 1:35am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
ace:

I'm sure a bunch of liberal journalists, who are donating to Obama by a 10:1 ratio, have decided to cover him "negatively."


More priceless entertainment. You are citing William Tate. He's a GOP ignoramus, just like you. His blurb is unintentionally revealing: "Tate is a former journalist, now a novelist."

Earlier you said this, reflexively dismissing a citation from Yglesias:

Um, why are we supposed to accept what a leftist is saying as fact?


Um, why are we supposed to accept what a GOP ignoramus, just like you, is saying as fact? I'll take the claim seriously when you show a reliable source. Or when you show source that provides more detailed and verifiable analysis.

By the way, who do you think has more influence on news articles, the people who type up the articles or the people who own the paper?
7.29.2008 1:35am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
And speaking of the other thread that got locked, I caught you telling an outright lie. The proof is here. You ducked the question, and then the thread got locked. Now you have another chance to explain yourself. There's no time like the present.
7.29.2008 1:40am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aldridge:

If I recall correctly, both Gore and Kerry had great poll numbers at one time, too.


RCP lists 36 polls taken between 6/1/04 and 7/30/04.

Kerry was ahead by more than 5% on only 6 occasions. For 5 of those 6, he was ahead by 6-8%. On one occasion he was ahead by 11%.

In other words, Kerry had a lead of at least 6% on 6/36 polls.

Bush was ahead this many times: 9.

In contrast, RCP lists 32 polls taken between 6/1/08 and 7/27/08.

Obama was ahead by more than 5% on 14 occasions. For 11 of those 14, he was ahead by 6-8%. He has also been ahead by 9, 12 and 15%.

In other words, Obama had a lead of at least 6% on 14/32 polls.

McCain has been ahead this many times: once.

Summary: Obama is better off than Kerry was, at this point.
7.29.2008 2:40am